Watch: GM CEO Mary Barra takes her first fully driverless ride
General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra and President Mark Reuss recently took rides in two fu autonomous vehicles of its subsidiary unit, Cruise. Barra was driven around San Francisco as Cruise co-founder and interim CEO Kyle Vogt accompanied her in a car called ‘Tostada’. Reuss took a ride with GM’s VP of communications, Craig Buchholz, in another car called “Disco."
A YouTube video posted by Cruise shows the executives taking a ride in the driverless vehicles around the city. Barra seems surprised at the efficiency of the driverless vehicle. On her way into the car, she peeks in through the window and reflects on the strangeness of a vehicle moving without a driver.
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She says that this was one of the highlights of her career. “I feel like we’re making history," Barra tells Vogt. The executives sitting in the back seats, also notice the amazement of the occupants of other vehicles on the road and of passersby upon seeing them ride without a driver. Vogt notices someone smiling from another car and waving at them. “You think you know what it’s going to be like and then you do it and you have – it’s just, it’s mind-blowing," says Buchholz.
Barra further highlights how her trust is built in the vehicle quickly, and argues that people with apprehensions about this system just need to experience an autonomous car. Reuss, too, notes how smooth and comfortable the drive in the car feels. “I mean I know you’ve already done it but for me to just be in one of these first handful of rides, it’s like a highlight of my career because we know what this technology can do." she says.
Cruise, in June 2021, announced that it had started building its first batch of nearly 100 pre-production examples of the Cruise Origin, an autonomous pod without driving controls. The vehicles will be built at GM’s Factory Zero, and will eventually be manufactured alongside the GMC Hummer EV.